Pumpkin Sage Baked Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Baked Pasta

This is the first time I’ve cooked a savory pumpkin dish.  It’s a baked pasta, and I think of baked pasta as casserole.  I love casseroles because you can make them ahead.  If I start making dinner in the late afternoon, I can stress myself out because I’m on a time crunch.  But if I prep it in the early in the day, I can still troubleshoot and not worry about the time.  Plus I can have the mess cleaned up, and after dinner everyone can relax. 14962566_378474499157859_6217321505442652243_n

If you don’t have white wine for the white sauce or don’t want to use it, just use 2 cups of chicken stock instead of 1 cup of each.  I have done it both ways.

 

This is a meatless dish, and you really don’t miss the meat here.  I actually don’t think it would be great with meat because the sage butter and pumpkin have so much flavor.  I would recommend serving this with something bright and healthy, liked Kale Sautéed in Olive Oil.  You need something to contrast with the creamy pasta.

Total Time: 

Serves: 10-12

Difficulty Level:  Intermediate

Ingredients

 

For the pasta and pumpkin sauce

1 pound of dried whole wheat penne or other short pasta

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

2 ½ cups ricotta cheese

1 whole egg, plus 1 egg white

¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

1 tablespoon dried parsley

 

For the white sauce

1 cup butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

6 tablespoons flour

1 ½ cups milk

½ cup half and half

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup white wine

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon dry mustard

 

For the topping

3 cups freshly grated low moisture mozzarella cheese

1-2 tablespoons dried parsley

2-3 whole fresh sage leaves

  1. Cook the pasta according to directions.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, ricotta, egg, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, white pepper and parsley. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a small pan, heat milk, stock, and wine  over medium low heat. In another small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the chopped sage. Sauté for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the hot stock and milk to the butter and flour mixture one third at a time whisking each time. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and dry mustard. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
  5. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium casserole dish, layer the ingredients as follows: one-fourth of the prepared White Sauce, one-third of the cooked pasta, and 1/3 of the pumpkin mixture.
  6. Repeat these same layers 2 additional times. Then add one last layer of the remaining white sauce and top with the mozzarella. Sprinkle the dried parsley on top.
  7. Bake covered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover, turn the oven up to 425, and bake for 15-20 minutes until the mozzarella in browned and bubbly on top.
  8. Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting into it. Garnish with fresh sage.

(recipe from A Family Feast)